Thursday, March 3, 2011

Book Review: Elephant Talk by Ann Downer


Elephants are amazing creatures. Truly amazing. And after reading Elephant Talk by Ann Downer, I am even more convinced of this fact. Downer focuses on the way elephants communicate with one another, through trumpets, rumbles, growls, squeaks and chirps, as well as body language and some infrasounds that humans can't even hear.

She describes how elephants are social creatures who are able to recognize family and communicate with one another from miles away. She talks of the way family members interact with one another, and the way the females care for their young calves. She also looks at how elephants compare to other social creatures, including humans.

The book delves into some of the research that is being conducted on elephants in Africa and in captivity to better understand the way they communicate. Downer explains some of the specific science that is being done, such as examining scat (yuck!) and the inner ear, and using recording collars and microphones in trees to hear the elephants "speak." It's quite interesting ~ not at all dry reading. And the pages are filled with vibrant pictures to illustrate the points.

Elephant Talk is written for the young adult audience; it was a bit too much for my kids who are preschool and early elementary age, but it would be great for those in middle school or even high school who are interested in learning about elephant communication either for a school project or just because it's so fascinating! And I will definitely pull some of the information out to talk about with my kids! If you have any interest in elephants at all, I highly recommend this book.

My Rating: 5/5

This review was written based on an e-book copy of Elephant Talk that I received from Lerner Publishing Group through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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